When crying has no agenda
I cry at everything. People around me are so used to my tears that they don’t even react at my crying because of books, films, newspaper articles, adverts, stuff happening on the street, in my home, in space or underwater. Seriously, I cried when I found out an astronaut took up a copy of The Dark Side Of The Moon to space and wrote a letter to Pink Floyd about how their music was played in space. I cry if I am too happy, if I am frustrated if something has really touched the deep chords of my heart, if I am little upset, if I am in too much pain and every month before my period begins. I find crying highly therapeutic and necessary, I find it as essential as laughing.
The fact that laughing is widely accepted as human but crying is viewed as something meant for a select population (the weak, the women, the children) is toxic and to me, very baffling. Why are men made to fear vulnerability? This notion adds to the toxics notions attached to masculinity.Interestingly, humans are the only animals that shed emotional tears (there is some chat in scientific circles about chimps and elephants crying, but they haven’t been able to prove this, so for the purpose of this article, lets ignore it) so does the fact that women shed more tears than men, make us more human?
The worst thing about crying, if I had to point one out, is that it makes people around the cryer uncomfortable. Other than that and maybe the headaches (if you have cried for forty minutes, while all of Hogwarts mourns Professor Dumbledore’s death). Crying is associated with femininity, vulnerability, being too emotional, all positive traits as long as we view it away from our society’s very biased lens.
I personally don’t care about any of the connotations around crying or about how uncomfortable someone is made by my tears and neither should you. Crying is healthy, it is natural and it is a stress buster. Not to sound crass, but you wouldn’t hold in your pee and wait for it to explode out of you a different, more inconvenient way, right? Then why the bigotry when it comes to your tears? No one ever says, can’t you hold your piss, aren’t you a grown arse woman? Nope. But our tears, even though they don’t require a whole sanitation system, are not given the same veneration.
Sometimes, when I find myself casually shedding tears after I have seen a dog with mainge (jab unke baal jhadne lag jaate hain) or a tiny one limping,I think about why exactly tears make people uncomfortable? I know that my shedding tears is not as crazy as men whipping out their penises and peeing all over the city, yet, I am met with worried (sometimes even angry) glances. I think this is because no one ever really talks about the health benefits of crying. Worse, no one actually talks about how good a good, hearty cry feels. Crying naturally relieves stress,it is known to carry prolactin hormone and it releases oxytocin and endorphins, these help us feel calm and elated. They also help in relieving pain (so definitely don’t hold back if you smack your head against the bed or fall and hurt yourself), they also clean the eyes of bacteria and again they feel good.
The next time you feel a lump in throat during an argument, or when you’re being yelled at just relax your tear ducts and cry yourself a river. Research also suggests that if you cry during an argument it actually helps the other person feel more empathy towards you, it also helps communicate deeper emotions that we don’t sometimes find language to articulate. These would be classified the intra-individual benefits of crying, as opposed to all the inter-individual benefits that have been listed in the previous three paragraphs. Just remember putting on a strong front, literally has no recorded health benefits, while crying has a multitude.
It is some relief to weep; grief is satisfied and carried off by tears — Ovid
About the author or crier
A perpetual reader of novels and novellas, Sasha is rarely sighted without a book in her hand. And when not reading, she can be found writing her stories away. A person with dyanmic interests, she likes analysing gendered social norms, trekking, smoking, and garlic infused red spinach. Her unconfessed love for cheesy Bollywood trivia and her hearty laughter will make you feel at ease and in seconds you’ll feel the comfort of her presence.